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Taylor Crampton — Staff Writer

All sophomores, juniors, and seniors know that this year at Holliston High is very different from previous years. Even the first day of school was drastically different, starting with the new Directed Study Block policy.

DSB has acquired a new meaning; it now represents forty-five extra minutes in a room that students had already been in for seventy-seven. In the past, students were allowed to ask for passes to other rooms if they needed extra-help or if they needed to make up a test. However, students took advantage of this to visit friends and hang out instead of getting work done, so the administration decided to change this.

The administration realizes that the current DSB format is certainly not perfect and it is subject to change. Vice Principal Bender said that the administration “Will continue to evaluate DSB, because we want to support student learning.”

He said that the problem is the balance between what students need and what they will take advantage of. “It’s a real struggle,” he said, “teachers and the administration want kids to have freedom.”

He continued, “We have a very unique school to have this DSB. It’s meant to refocus learning in the middle of the day. If you need extra-help, go before school or after. DSB can’t be used as a crutch.”

The biggest, and most exciting change this year is for the senior class. The administration decided to allow seniors to leave for DSB every Friday, while all underclassmen have advisory.

When asked how he thought the senior privilege was being handled, Mr. Bender said, “I think it’s going really well.” So far, he has been pleased because there have been few major problems.

Mr. Bender said that the administration, “Wanted to allow something nice, but also something that comes with responsibility.”

In planning future changes, Mr. Bender said that they were looking at “the next step towards expanding [senior privileges],” but any action  “would require feedback from students as well as their parents.”

“If [senior privileges] continue to be successful, there will be more rewards for mature behavior,” he said. Mr. Bender added that the administration is considering allowing seniors to leave every DSB. He also mentioned the concern that doing so could create an unfair burden on band and chorus.

Also along the lines of the changes in administration, Mr. Bender explained why students are no longer allowed to go to the parking lot between classes. He said, “Students were taking advantage [of it]. Negative things were happening in the parking lot. Students would stay out for extended amounts of time.” He added, “Your car is not your locker.”

With all of these changes within the administrative policy, Mr. Bender said that the administration is simply looking for structure on school grounds.

Smiling, Mr. Bender added that, “Tardiness is down; there is a reduced amount of detentions. We’ve gone from two detention rooms to one.”

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